The Walt Disney Co. will no longer have their children’s programming sponsored by junk food.
On Tuesday, the mass media company announced that it would not run unhealthy food ads on radio stations, TV channels, or websites that are intended for children. However, due to pre-existing advertising contracts this will go into effect until 2015.
First lady Michelle Obama called the act a “game changer” while at an event to announce the effort.
“Just a few years ago, if you had told me or any other mom or dad in America that our kids wouldn’t see a single ad for junk food while they watched their favorite cartoons on a major TV network, we wouldn’t have believed you,” Obama said.
This announcement could prompt other media companies to follow their lead as obesity is climbing at an astronomical rate. According to Disney, their guidelines are in line with federal standards to recommend that consumers eat their fruits and vegetables and reduce their intake of sugar, sodium, and saturated fat.
“There seems to be limited taste for government regulation,” said Aviva Must, chairwoman of the department of public health and community medicine at Tufts School of Medicine, who has decades of experience studying childhood obesity. “So I think a large company like Disney taking a stand and putting in a policy with teeth is a good step.”